Oct 052008

Removing dead mailing lists from Mailman

I first starting writing about mailing lists in February 1999. The list in question first started in April of that year. That is 9.5 years old this month. But for the last few years, the list has fallen into disuse and it was more than a year ago that I suggested the list be shut down. The time has arrived. The archives will remain online, but the list itself will disappear.

Remove the lists

This step removes the mailing lists from mailman:
[dan@nyi:/usr/local/mailman] $ sudo ./bin/rmlist adsl
Not removing archives.  Reinvoke with -a to remove them.
Removing list info
[dan@nyi:/usr/local/mailman] $ sudo ./bin/rmlist broadband
Not removing archives.  Reinvoke with -a to remove them.
Removing list info
[dan@nyi:/usr/local/mailman] $ sudo ./bin/rmlist adsl-chat
Not removing archives.  Reinvoke with -a to remove them.
Removing list info
[dan@nyi:/usr/local/mailman] $
I am not removing the archives. We’ll keep them around for a while. Hmmm, I really expected there to be more to this. 🙂

Host URL error (added on 5 October 2008)

There was something more! Last night I discovered these issues with my outgoing mail queue:
(host msa-mx4.hinet.net[] said: 451 <freebsddiary-announce-bounces@lists.example.org>... Sender domain must exist (in reply to MAIL FROM command))
It seems that the mailing list for this website is ‘hosted’ by lists.example.org (actually, it was in the unixathome.org domain, but I altered the mail address above on purpose). This is a Mailman configuration item. I’m not yet sure how to adjust that. I suspect Mailman Site administrator tasks may hold my answer. Let’s go see. NOTE: my short term solution to the above was to add the host back into my DNS. The long term solution appears below What are the list attributes? I found this command:
[root:/usr/local/mailman] # bin/config_list -o - freebsddiary-announce | less
In there, I found this:
# The "host_name" is the preferred name for email to mailman-related
# addresses on this host, and generally should be the mail host's
# exchanger address, if any.  This setting can be useful for selecting
# among alternative names of a host that has multiple addresses.
host_name = 'lists.unixathome.org'
This looks very straight forward. Change the value of host_name. No, how to do that?
# bin/withlist -li freebsddiary-announce
Loading list freebsddiary-announce (locked)
The variable `m' is the freebsddiary-announce MailList instance
>>> print m.host_name
>>> m.host_name='lists.freebsddiary.org'
>>> print m.host_name
>>> m.Save()
Unlocking (but not saving) list: freebsddiary-announce
# bin/config_list -o - freebsddiary-announce | grep lists.unixathome.org
WOOT! If all goes well with the next FreeBSDDiary announce mail-out, I’ll remove lists.unixathome.org from DNS again.